What are Raw Smurfs?

We smurf collectors love a good hunt for that elusive smurf. We are happy to go to second hand markets, garage sales, opportunity shops looking for that smurf. For me this was my introduction to raw smurfs.

Raw Smurfs are also generally called by their German name – Rohlinge which translated into English means blank.

A Raw Smurf is made by injecting a solid colour into the PVC mould. The base colour is then chosen based on what the most dominant colour for the smurf will be.

You may have noticed that some collectors will mention the colour of the PVC when describing their smurfs. For example Papa Smurf (20001) was originally made out of a blue material and then later on this was changed to red.

You would have also noticed that as the majority of smurfs are made out of white material and with these smurfs they do not require their hats or trousers painted, because they are already white!

sm20080brownThe most well known Raw Smurfs were released by the manufacturer Bully back in the 1970’s. These were released as part of a promotion for Waldbaur Chocolates. The promotion included a smurf with a box of 20 chocolates.

Each of the smurfs were made of a solid colour with some details painted such as the eyes or mouth. These smurfs also have no markings.

The six Waldbaur Smurfs made

  1. Digger (20043) – Blue mould (small version)
  2. Jolly (20079) – Red mould
  3. Biscuit (20080) – Brown mould
  4. Tyrolese (20081) – Green  mould
  5. Shy (20082) – Yellow mould
  6. Hammer (20083) – Orange mould

There were also Raw Smurfs made for Nestle, though information on this is scratchy. There has also been some debate how many different raw smurfs were actually made for Waldbaur.

Raw Smurfs are highly collectible and add a splash of colour to any smurf collection.

The colours to be found seem to be endless… white, blue, green, brown, purple, red, pink, orange, yellow, and even transparent!

Keep on Smurfin


What are Promotional Smurfs?

Promotional Smurfs are probably the most interesting smurfs to collect. Promotional Smurfs were made to promote a company or organisation. Some were licensed and some were not but that is what makes them so interesting to collect.

Promotional Smurfs Mcdonalds SmurfGenerally Promotional Smurfs are smurfs that are generally found with the company/organisation’s name or logo imprinted onto the figurine. Though this has not always been the case.

Regular Smurfs, Super Smurfs and Smurfs on pedestals have all been used as Promotional Smurfs. However it has been prominently been regular Smurfs.

Companies that have had Promotional Smurfs made for them include BP, McDonalds, Omo, Merkur Bank, Colgate, Schimmel Pianos, Schonwald Smurfs on pedestals and others.

Promotional Smurfs Medic Smurf

Organisations that have had also used Promotional Smurfs made for them include Deutsches Rotes Kreuz (German Red Cross), ASB – Arbeiter Samariter Bund (Workers Samaritan Federation) and others.

Quite often a Promotional Smurf was made using an existing mould and sometimes by adding a colour variation or adding different attachment to promote the company/organisation. This was particularly the case in the ones made in the 1980’s. Also generally these were released individually.

In the 1990’s fewer Promotional Smurfs were made, though for some of these new moulds were made. Also in the 1990’s we saw whole sets of Promotional Smurfs released.

Probably the most well known ones released in the 1990’s were produced by McDonalds in 1996 and 1998 upon where each smurf had a “M” symbol embossed onto the back of their head.

The good thing Promotional Smurfs are still being made today. However not to the same degree as in the 1980’s when Promotional Smurfs were at their peak.

Promotional Smurfs Football Smurf

Last year Schleich released three smurfs, to celebrate the 2014 World Cup Soccer. Two are based on New Soccer Smurf (20454) painted in the colours of Belgium and Holland also a Devil Smurf (20213).

There has always been some debate about some Promotional Smurfs and whether they are authorised or unauthorised. The lack of official records also adds to the confusion. However with the release of collector books and online forums/shops have helped overcome this as best as they can.

For me one of the things that makes Promotional Smurfs interesting is learning about the company or organisation. This always creates a point of interest and conversation for those who are not familiar with smurfs.

Some collectors also find that by specialising in only collecting Promotional Smurfs can be very satisfying and in a way of having a collection within a collection.

Another reason why Promotional Smurfs have always been highly collectible is that for some there were only limited numbers produced or were only released in a particular country. This can result in pushing up the prices and creating some very sought after smurfs.

There are many different promotional Smurfs to collect, a few of them are listed here.

Keep on Smurfin





















Surfing is Smurfie in Australia

By 1980 smurf mania had hit Australia. Everything was Smurfie!

In January 1980, the Smurf Song by Father Abraham was in the top 10 biggest selling songs.

By May the film, The Smurfs and the Magic Flute premiered in Australia. Back then this would have been during school holidays. To coincide with the movie, a book with the same title was also released.

The variety of things that could be found with the smurfs was incredible.   A company called Airac made lunch boxes and thermos. Another company called Willow was making mental meal trays to eskies. Nothing was off limit, everything had to be smurfed!

Before too long everything was being marked (c) Peyo S.E.P.P BP Australia. For a child this did not mean much, except that it had something to do with smurfs and you wanted it. Now as an adult you look at for these items and it takes you back to your childhood.

Come Christmas, BP Australia was the one place to get all your smurf Christmas presents. From activity pads, placemats, bbq aprons (child or adult), magnets, photo albums and others.

sm20041BP Australia continually released new figurines throughout the year. I believe around 28 new figurines were released. Throughout the year, Super Smurfs were released along with smurf houses and garden playsets.

A Christmas catalogue from 1980 tell us that regular smurfs were sold for just 85cents, Super smurfs $1.65 and Playsets such as the garden well, snail & cart and the sail boat were only $3.95

The smurf juggernaut would continue right throughout 1981 and into into 1982.

During the Summer period swimming tubes and other floatable toys were on the market. By February when were returning to go back to school, stationary packs were on sale.

sm20150blueIn 1981 we saw the introduction of the Australia Rules Footballer originally released by BP Australia. The smurf is wearing the Victorian State of Origin football top. I believe this would have been released around early May to conincide with school holidays and the first state of origin match on 27 May 1981 where Western Australia played Victoria.

At the time of its release, this smurf may have only been available in Victoria as it is wearing the Victorian state colours (navy blue with a white v) and white shorts. At that time, the white shorts were worn by the visiting team.

Around the same time, the Rugby Smurf would have been released to coincide with the Rugby League’s State of Origin tournament where New South Wales and Queensland play against each other. These are only my theories.

During the year, new smurf figurines,  mini book stories, soft toys, puppets and other surfy items were continually released into the market.

greet20040aBy Christmas time 1981, a catalogue from BP Australia tell us that regular smurfs were sold for just 99cents, Super smurfs $1.99 and Playsets  $3.99. This Christmas we were introduced Greeting Smurfs (smurf on triangle stands) for $1.99

I have fond attraction to smurf merchandise released by BP Australia. Perhaps part of the reason is that it takes me back to memories of my happy childhood. I still have a soft toy that I was given when I was four years old called Smurfee who used to be scared of thunder. Happy days!

Keep on Smurfin

Kath B